October 31st kicks off our holiday season in just a few days. Let’s look at four ways we liberated eaters can navigate it with cool-headed finesse:
1) KEEP YOUR MINDSET ON “LIBERATED SETTING” – Mindset matters most of all. If the old food-anxiety begins to rear its compulsive head just remind yourself that you and food are friends now. You have a peaceful relationship, and you are growing more mindful and intuitive every day.
2) DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME – Pre-determine how you want things to go, before the candy is in the bowl.
Think it through. It may not look the same every year. This year you may want to:
- HAVE SOME: You might choose to savor some of your favorite candy, enjoying it fully. Decide on the amount, the place and a time that feels safe and positive for you to enjoy this intentional treat.
- HAVE NONE: You might feel more peaceful about not having any at all this year. Perhaps you feel that one piece will lead to the whole bowl. Trust yourself to know what’s best for you right now. What will bring you the most peace? Take good care of yourself by eating other foods you enjoy.
3) MAKE A DECISION ABOUT LEFTOVER CANDY NOW – This one is critical and easy to overlook. We can do the intentional work of being mindful during the holiday and then find ourselves caught off-guard by leftovers. Go ahead and decide what you want to do the day after Halloween. Would you rather give it away or toss it in the garbage disposal? What will happen if you do neither?
Give yourself full permission to throw it all away – guilt free. It’s served its holiday purpose.
4) GIVE GRACE – No one walks this journey perfectly. If you happen to fall back into old patterns: acknowledge it, treat yourself kindly and see what you can learn from the experience. What safeguard, tool or thought might have given you a different outcome? Don’t be discouraged because relapses normal and are our very best school!
As we move toward this special time of year, decide to have a journey mindset. Be curious. Anticipate good things. Be open to discovery. Picture yourself getting stronger, wiser, freer and more peaceful with food with each passing holiday.
Each one is a part of your story.
Each one is an opportunity to know yourself better than you ever have before.
For those of us who feel prone to over-do-it with sweet treats, holidays can cause a great deal of anxiety. This time of year abundant colorful, heart-shaped goodies are in-your-face unavoidable!
Let me encourage you to think about how you might love yourself (not just others) this year. What will you be most happy with, food-wise, once the whole thing is over?
We don’t have to wake up on February 15th with a chocolate hangover.
We have choices.
We have power.
Let’s take a quick look at some of our conflicts and some of our options…
THE CONFLICT: We want the candy and we want to live in a body we enjoy. Those two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Let’s look at 2 things that might help us sort this through:
- UNDESERVED POWER – Remember, candy isn’t fattening. No food is fattening in and of itself. Overeating it is. Sugar isn’t a morally wicked substance either. You’re not a bad person if you eat chocolate and a good person if you eat an apple. If we see sweets as wicked and dangerous, we’re giving them more power than they deserve. It’s just candy; it’s not all that. You can choose not to eat any of it, or you can choose to savor some slowly – with no guilt whatsoever.
- UNREASONABLE ALL-OR-NOTHING – Because we tend to think of candy as “bad” we also tend to eat none of it, or A TON of it. This takes reasonable moderation off the table. Thinking of food as “good” or “bad” is faulty thinking and leads to extremes.
Now let’s look at some What-Ifs that can help us think through what will be the most satisfying choices for ourselves this year. Consider each one and then pick the scenarios that please you most and go for it.
What if, this year, for Valentine’s Day you…
- decide to go to your favorite market and give yourself the gift of the most beautiful fruit in season and a new-to-you cheese, and then you get on your cozies and watch a movie while you enjoy these delectable treasures?
- decide that two or three pieces of your very favorite Valentine candy is what will bless you most this year? And what if you decided to sit down and eat them in a way that honors you, your body and your mind?
- eat with reckless abandon, the whole time feeling guilty about it because you think sugar is a toxic poison – and if you eat it you must be a very bad person indeed?
- eat with reckless abandon and do not feel guilty about it – but still feel out of control and heavy and sluggish?
- decide to be Sale-Free this year? What if you decide that the bargain of saving money on leftover candy you hope you won’t eat really isn’t a bargain at all?
These scenarios give us some food for thought. Take some time and think through how you want to feel in your mind and in your body. What will you be most happy with on February 15?
There is no one-size-fits-all best answer. This kind of choice is personal – and possible.
Love yourself well this year.
FUN FISCAL FACT: 1.7 billion dollars will be spent on Valentine candy this year, not counting advertising dollars. Yes, that’s billion with a b. Click here for other fun facts.